CULTURAL HERITAGE IN SMART CITY ENVIRONMENTS
- School of Spatial Planning and Development, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, 54124, Greece
Keywords: Smart city, strategy, application, urban development, touristic development, cultural heritage management
Abstract. This paper investigates how the historical and cultural heritage of cities is and can be underpinned by means of smart city tools, solutions and applications. Smart cities stand for a conceptual technology-and-innovation driven urban development model. By becoming ‘smart’, cities seek to achieve prosperity, effectiveness and competitiveness on multiple socio-economic levels. Although cultural heritage is one of the many issues addressed by existing smart city strategies, and despite the documented bilateral benefits, our research about the positioning of urban cultural heritage within three smart city strategies (Barcelona, Amsterdam, and London) reveals fragmented approaches. Our findings suggest that the objective of cultural heritage promotion is not substantially addressed in the investigated smart city strategies. Nevertheless, we observe that cultural heritage management can be incorporated in several different strategic areas of the smart city, reflecting different lines of thinking and serving an array of goals, depending on the case. We conclude that although potential applications and approaches abound, cultural heritage currently stands for a mostly unexploited asset, presenting multiple integration opportunities within smart city contexts. We prompt for further research into bridging the two disciplines and exploiting a variety of use cases with the purpose of enriching the current knowledge base at the intersection of cultural heritage and smart cities.